2016 Doomben Cup a Target for Lucia Valentina

December 15th, 2015

Lucia Valentina ran on for an impressive fifth in the Group 1 Hong Kong Cup at Sha Tin over the weekend and remains likely to target a race like the 2016 Doomben Cup (2000m) at the conclusion of a light autumn preparation.

Lucia Valentina may be set for a tilt at the 2016 Doomben Cup. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos

Lucia Valentina may be set for a tilt at the 2016 Doomben Cup. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos

Considered a rank outsider amongst a talented field, Lucia Valentina received a reasonable run in transit off the pace of early leader A Shin Hikari who flew the barriers and injected plenty of tempo into the race from the outset.

Rounding onto the final straight with plenty to do, the Savabeel mare immediately responded when asked for an extra effort; producing an impressive turn of foot to finish within the money and more than warrant the trip abroad.

Trainer Kris Lees told Sky Racing HQ he was thrilled with Lucia Valentina’s effort over the weekend and will allow her form to dictate the path taken in 2016.

“We were very proud of her effort,” Lees said.

“She ran fifth, but it was against some really world class horses and we were really happy with her performance.

“It was the fastest run Cup in the last 10 years, he was running 23 something for every sectional and he just kept going.

“It was set up for the backmarkers, but there was no chance they were running him down.

“Full credit to the winner.

“She needs that solid tempo because she has become a little one dimensional and when you are racing at that higher level if they are able to maintain that speed then we can’t pick them up.

“When they do go quick like they did on Sunday it gives her the opportunity to run into the money and against inferior competition she probably wins a race like that.

“She will come back.

“She has to do four weeks in quarantine all up and we will give her a reasonably light autumn and then assess.

“If she is in form she will probably race another season, but if she doesn’t we might look to stud.

“Hopefully she maintains her form now – hopefully she has the consistency back in her racing and we can get another season out of her.”

Lucia Valentina has posted an impressive six wins and five minors through 25 career starts so far; highlighted by victories in each of the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) and Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) in 2014.